Fast Company InfoGraphic Review (3) — Education and Employment

[Part three of my four-part series taking a critical look at an infographic.]

This section uses a pie chart, pictogram, and numbers to tell a story.

Or does it?

A couple of weeks ago I decided to review an infographic published on FastCompany.com. The previous two installments are Economy and Children and Family

Education and Employment: Three graphics, three problems

The pie chart is fine — the big wedge begins at the top and moves clockwise, like we read (Left to right, top to bottom).

Click image to embiggen


Problems:

  • The pictograph in the middle uses five of ten icons to illustrate 51.4% (AGAIN!)
  • The dark black ‘direct reports’ icons below the female manager confuse the information that the pictograph is trying to convey. The black icons Almost outweigh the orange women icons.
  • The unemployment numbers take a snapshot in time that is not defined. When exactly were those rates taken? Are they the average from the last six months? Year? Ten years?

Solutions:

  • Keep the pie chart.
  • Don’t use the pictograph. Use something else, like a pie chart, or, combine it with the other big, fat number above (51%).
  • For the unemployment rates, a great solution would be sparklines showing rates for both men and women over the last 10-20 years with a couple of labels showing current rates.

Next week I’ll cover the final section, Political Power

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